From Pat Deveney's database:
Caillie and Jounet had founded the Fraternite de l'Etoile in 1889, and began this journal as its organ. This was the exponent of that stream of French Belle Epoque occultism that stressed the value of scientific, "Western" (Christian) occultism with a personal God and the survival of the "moi," in contrast to the "Eastern" or "Hindoo" occultism being expounded at the time by H.P. Blavatsky. See the notes under Reveil des Albigeois, L'Anti-Materialiste, Revue des Hautes-etudes, Le Lotus, and L'Initiation. The first issue made the point unmistakably in Jhouney's "Erreur du Neo-Boudhisme" (neo-Buddhism being, of course, Theosophy). Its formal position was that it was devoted to the Kabbalah in its relationship with Christian esotericism. In accord with its socialist and spiritualist proclivities, the journal opined that spiritualism as then known was but a stepping stone to a more collective and fraternal communion with the dead, exemplified in the work of the Fraternite de l'Etoile.
The journal's pages, like those of L'Initiation, are a virtual directory of French occultism at the time: Stanislas de Guaita (on ecstasy) , E.Schure, Auguste, Comte de Villiers de l'Isle Adam (1838-1889), J. Lermina, Adelma von Vay, Jules Doinel, V.-Em Michelet Abbe Alta, "Ely Star" (Eugene Jacob, 1847-1942), Jules Doinel, C. Flammarion, F. Ch. Barlet (Albert Faucheux), Paul Roca (1830-1893), et al. Roca was in many ways the driving force of the journal. He came from a rural family in the eastern Pyrenees. Ordained for the diocese of Perpignan in 1858, he never practiced as a priest and was soon excluded from the priesthood for the socialist, republican and anti-papal views he acquired in a dozen years spent in Spain. After travels through Switzerland and Lyon, where he first encountered the counterculture of the occult, he visited the United States and then settled in Paris to write novels and critical studies of the fate of Europe based on his conversion to the ideas of Alexandre Saint-Yves (Saint-Yves d'Alveydre, 1842-1909). About 1886, he he experienced the influx of the "Christ-Esprit" into his head and heart which enabled them to become generators of a "cosmic force of the highest and purest sort." In this state he began to frequent the salons of Saint-Yves d'Alveydre and the Countess of Caithness and other esoteric circles in Paris around Papus, Augustin Chabosseau, Stanislas de Guaita, Albert Jounet ("Alber Jhouney"), et al., all of whom were striving to revive the spirituality and esotericism of the West. With Jounet he began L'Etoile, filling it with his ideas of a Gnostic church, a united Europe, feminism, socialism, the Kabbalah, and his controversies with the Church and his (unsuccessful) attempts to gain reinstatement as a priest. On Roca's life, see the excellent article by Eugene Cortade, "Un pretre heterodoxe: l'abbe Paul Roca (1830-1893)," now online at http://www.mediterranees.net/sasl/articles/roca.html. The journal in its first year carried Roca's anonymous novel "L'abbe Gabriel et Henriette sa fiancee," which he later published in his journal L'Anti-clerical, a Catholic journal despite its title.
This whole stream of anti-Buddhist, anti-Theosophical occultism is, of course, that espoused by the H.B. of L., and to view journals such as L'Etoile and L'Initiation in proper context it should be borne in mind that Caillie, Barlet, Louis Dramard, Papus, et al., were all at one time members of that organization. See the notes under The Occult Magazine (Glasgow) and The Morning Star.
Daniel Caracostea notes the obituary of this journal written by Caillie in its successor (L'Ame):
"L'Etoile est morte. Elle a vecu ce que vivent les roses, l'espace d'un matin. E lui croyait plus longue vie, un avenir plus brillant, et je lui avais consacre toutes mes forces et tous mes devouements . . . ."
The sequence of important journals involved in the fin-de-siecle French occult revival is:
On the publisher, Librairie de l'Art Independant, the creation of Edmond Bailly, see the note under Le Coeur. The journal's last issue, which announced its cessation, also carried a notice of the death of Marie, Countess of Caithness, who was almost certainly the patroness of the journal. NYPL.
|Issues:||Etoile V1 N1 Mar 1889|
|Etoile V1 N2 Apr 1889|
|Etoile V1 N3 May 1889|
|Etoile V1 N4 Jun 1889|
|Etoile V1 N5 Jul 1889|
|Etoile V1 N6 Aug 1889|
|Etoile V1 N7 Sep 1889|
|Etoile V1 N8 Oct 1889|
|Etoile V1 N9 Nov 1889|
|Etoile V1 N10 Dec 1889|
|Etoile V1 N11 Jan 1890|
|Etoile V1 N12 Feb 1890|
|Etoile V7 N12 Dec 1895|
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